Dr Adrian Haigh: Tributes to Hitchin GP ahead of memorial service

Late Hitchin GP and Hitchin Society chairman Dr Adrian Haigh, who has died aged 92. Picture: Haigh f

Late Hitchin GP and Hitchin Society chairman Dr Adrian Haigh, who has died aged 92. Picture: Haigh family - Credit: Archant

Tributes have been paid to a GP and pillar of the Hitchin community ahead of a public memorial service.

Dr Adrian Haigh, who was a GP in Hitchin for more than three decades, died in his sleep in June at the age of 92.

A small family funeral has already taken place, and a memorial service will be held for the public on Monday, October 30.

Dr Haigh’s colleague Dr John Vick told the Comet: “He really was a much-loved GP. People are still asking about him, though he’d been retired for years.”

Asked what set Dr Haigh apart, Dr Vick cited his drive to help patients, saying: “He really got to the bottom of problems.”

Dr Haigh completed national service with the RAF in Iraq before coming to Hitchin with his new wife Sanda in 1953, having met her while training at St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

He joined Dr Alan Porter’s practice in Bancroft, where he rose to be lead GP. The practice moved and became Portmill Surgery, as it still remains.

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Dr Haigh retired from the medical profession in 1986, but continued to make his mark on town life as one of the leading members of the Hitchin Society.

He was also on the fabric fund committee for St Mary’s Church, a regular volunteer at the British Schools Museum, a member of Hitchin’s Probus club, and a keen participant in twinning with Bingen am Rhein in Germany.

He is remembered by many as a founder playing member of Hitchin Rugby Club, where he was president from 1967 to 1983.

Those paying tribute from Dr Haigh’s rugby days have included Bob Watkin, who said: “Apart from being a founding member, he was the person who stuck by the club when almost everyone else opted to leave. His enthusiasm for his club and the game were a vital part of the club’s survival.”

Brian Chapman added: “The club had no greater member more affectionately held at any time.

“Doc was both a gentleman, a sportsman and a doctor together. He was quite special.”

Sanda, who was also active in Hitchin life, died in 2014. She and Dr Haigh had four children – academic Joanna, journalist Amanda, coroner Andrew and graphic designer Sarah. There are seven grandchildren and one great-grandson.

The memorial service for Dr Haigh will be held at St Mary’s Church from 12 noon on Monday, October 30. All are welcome.